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While many of the girls at Suiran were using the same towels as Enjou and Kaburagi, a select few of them secretly used towels that matched their crushes instead. Some girls even gave matching towels to their boyfriends to deepen their love. Suiran was undergoing an unprecedented towel boom.
And shockingly, Class Rep’s quartet were all using the same towels!
“Oh, we just got these to commemorate our friendship, that’s all. It isn’t what you’re thinking, Kisshouin-san~” he said shyly.
That was his reply when I went to question him about it. Friendship huh. In that case, why wasn’t I invited.
Wasn’t I in on the whole ‘make-up Iwamuro-kun’ thing? Actually, wasn’t I the one that started it? And yet here I was… Ah well, I wasn’t going to get into it. And it was fine, right?. They were having fun.
And sure, there definitely were a few girls who used matching ‘friendship towels’. Honestly I was envious.
The rumours regarding my towel matching Enjou’s had finally cooled down. I wasn’t about to use them at school and risk starting the flames again. My friends on the other hand were naturally happily using the same towels as the Emperor and Enjou so I was the only one amongst them feeling left out with my normal towel. Tsk~ Invite me too, Class Rep~
One day Ririna came up to me and threw a towel at my face.
When I picked it off my face I discovered that it was a cream-coloured towel with the letters R. K. sewn on in red. Ririna, you…
I gratefully made use of it. That girl had a surprisingly cute side to her. Did she sew in my initials herself? Mn, you did very well, huhu.
After my sprint training I was sorting through my bag in the Handicrafts Club when Minami-kun saw the towel in my hand.
“Ah! The towel that I embroidered to give to Kotou-san…” he muttered.
I immediately ran to Ririna and used the towel to strangle the outrageous girl.
Ririnaaaaa! You’re unbelievableeee! Give me back my fuzzy feelings!
More important was Wakaba-chan. Kaburagi casually called out to her every time they met. Sometimes you could see her, Kaburagi, and Enjou standing around and talking together. Enjou might have been one thing but it was rare to see Kaburagi use any girl’s name. For every ‘Takamichi’ that came out of his mouth, his fans glared hatefully at her.
Thanks to him, Wakaba-chan came back soaked whenever she went to the taps, and it was common to see girls badmouthing her like she wasn’t right next to them.
One day I was heading to the taps, having just finished my practice for the three-legged race.
“What does she think she’s using? That towel looks like a dish rag.”
“Can she really help it? She has no money.”
“If I had something like that at my house the only use it would have is cleaning the floors.”
“Gosh. Doesn’t that mean that dust cloths are good enough for a certain somebody?”
A group of girls were sneering behind her while saying hurtful things. Wakaba-chan just pretended not to hear them and washed her face dispassionately.
The girls seemed to take offence to that because Tsuruhana-san’s Number 2 bumped into her on purpose and even tossed Wakaba-chan’s towel onto the ground.
“Goodness! Myy baaad~”
Without missing a beat, the girl used her other hand to splash water onto Wakaba-chan whose face and fringe ended up dripping wet. She didn’t have her towel to dry herself with anymore. It was lying on the ground and there were even footprints on it.
Should I go save her…?
“Let’s go, Reika-sama,” said Ru’ne-chan without much interest. Mm, but…
At that moment a group of boys just happened to be coming back from their own training. Those girls noticed too and quickly distanced themselves from Wakaba-chan.
In the centre of the group was Kaburagi who raised an eyebrow at Wakaba-chan. She was standing there soaked and trying to dry her face with her hands of all things.
“What the heck are you doing. Don’t you have a towel?”
“Ummm… I kind of dropped it…”
“What are you even doing, you idiot. Here, use this,” he said before tossing over his own towel.
I could see the instant the expressions on the other girls changed.
“Eh!? It’s fine. You don’t need to!” she said, trying to hand it back in a panic. Wakaba-chan had sensed it too.
Kaburagi hadn’t noticed at all though.
“Just take it. And you can keep it. Don’t worry about giving it back.”
He refused her with one hand and simply headed into the school building with Enjou and the others.
Left behind, Wakaba-chan picked up her own towel and threw out an excuse.
“Um, I’ll give it back to him…” she said, before running off behind him.
Tsuruhana-san and her friends were furious.
“What the hell was that!?”
Kaburagi… Seriously, what the heck was that?
There was a lot of trouble in my life recently.
Compared to the the storm of rumours that Kaburagi’s towel had caused, the towel incident with Enjou and I was nothing.
And each day it was jealousy-fuelled open season for Wakaba-chan in my group. I tried to stop them a few times but it didn’t go well.
It was hard just staying silent while I saw Wakaba-chan being bullied. Even though I wanted to do something, I couldn’t. I was pathetic…
And whenever I went to the Pivoine Salon, the President was always in a bad mood because of how active a leader Fellow Stalking Horse had been since becoming the Student Council President.
“This new Student Council sure are an insolent bunch…”
“The other day that Mizusaki guy was even running off his mouth about us. He really doesn’t know his place.”
“The lot of them are behaving as though they own the place after misunderstanding their own positions.”
“President, what should we do?”
The Pivoine elitists were gathered around the President and discussing how we were going to treat the Student Council from now on.
“For now we will wait and see what they do. If they disrespect the Pivoine any further we will not lie still.”
Scary… I didn’t know what to do about the Pivoine either.
And with the needle felting for the Bea-tan doll face not going well, or how my love at the library was not progressing at all, I just had a lot of worries these days.
To help change gears a little I decided to go for a walk on the weekend.
I got off at a train station far away from home and was just strolling about when I caught scent of something delicious. Gasp! I knew this smell!
Following the smell, my nose led me to a temple fair stall with ikayaki.
I knew it!
I bought one and bit into it on the spot. Yummy! It was my first time having festival ikayaki since becoming Kisshouin Reika! Sooo yummmyy!
I couldn’t get enough of this cheap flavour! Maybe it would be better to eat some takoyaki as well. But first things first, there was this ikayaki to finish off! Aahh, why did eating yummy things just melt the stress away?
Thinking back, I used to eat these a lot in my old life, back when I visited festivals. I used to go with my little sister Yuka-chan, and my cousin Naru-kun. And I used to buy fairy floss at these things too. And candied apples, and yakisoba too! We’d buy all sorts of food and share it between us. I missed that. Dad liked ikayaki the best, didn’t he.
It had been so long that the ikayaki had sent me into my own world. I had totally lost myself in it and completely left my guard down.
The blood drained from my face at the voice.